Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Andy Mager
Syracuse Peace Council
924 Burnet Ave., Syracuse, NY 13203
(315) 472-5478
OFFICE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10 am - 5 pm
STAFF and INTERN Email Addresses:
Andy Mager
Carol Baum
Jessica Maxwell
Aly Wane

Upstate NY Regional Peace Demonstration
Look for SPC at summer festivals and outdoor events with antiwar T-shirts (see insert), tableaus (silent street theatre) and banners over the even busier-than-normal highways - especially during the NY State Fair. The Local Cost of the War Committee is also working with the Fort Drum chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War to organize a major regional antiwar demonstration tentatively planned for the the end of September to coincide with national calls for action during that time. SPC is reaching out to peace groups and student organizations from Albany to Buffalo and Binghamton to Potsdam.

Weekly Peace Outreach

We're turning up the Heat!

Thursdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm
Carpooling available from SPC

July 24: Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
July 31: Rt. 57 and Vine St. (Village of Liverpool)
August 7: Seneca Tpk. and S. Salina St. (Valley)
August 14: Rt. 20 (Albany St.) and Lincklaen St. (Cazenovia
August 21: E. Genesee St. (Rt. 370/31) and Syracuse
August 28: New York State Fairgrounds Main Entrance
September 4: James St. and Thompson Rd. (Northside

We envision smaller actions throughout the week in cities across upstate NY culminating with a massive march and rally in Syracuse. Summer actions will build for the regional mobilization.

To get involved in the organizing, contact Carol or Jessica. The Local Cost of the War Committee meets next on Wednesday, July 25 at 7 pm at SPC.

SPC at UFPJ National Assembly
Carol Baum represented SPC at the recent assembly of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), the national anti-war coalition in which we participate. Over 300 people from 35 states represented nearly 200 member groups. Much of the assembly was devoted to decision-making about UFPJ's program priorities. These include:
End Congressional support for the Iraq war
Initiate a day of major regional anti-war demonstrations for October 27
Support military resisters, veterans, military families and counter-recruitment work o Expose and challenge the economic costs of the war
Ensure that ending the war now is a key part of the discussion during the 2008 campaign season
Support organizing training for local groups
Challenge the war profiteers
Promote a nationwide public education project to explain how the war happened, the policy undergirding the war, and why it is wrong.

The most interesting and helpful parts were the workshops, break-out groups and skill-sharing sessions. Highlights included: hearing what other groups were doing (and sharing what we have done); and talks by a group of Iranians bicycling across the US as a gesture of friendship, Iraqi labor leaders, the vice-president of the Gaza Red Crescent (similar to the US Red Cross), an anti-war member of the United Kingdom's Parliament and Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.

Remember Hiroshima Day: August 6 This year's dramatic procession to mark the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be held on Monday, August 6. We will gather near City Hall at 11:30 and the procession will begin promptly at noon, passing through Columbus Circle and Armory Square before arriving at Clinton Square. We are calling for the US to stop threatening to attack Iran, to pursue a sustainable energy policy, and for no nation to maintain nuclear weapons.

We have many beautiful props and banners to be carried during the march. For dramatic effect, please wear white or light colors if possible. Please contact Carol if you are coming and can carry something. Photo:Paul Pierce

Money for Schools, Not for War!
On June 26, SPC joined with the Afterschool Alliance, Alliance for Quality Education, American Friends Service Committee, Citizen Action of NY and the NAACP at a news conference to demand a shift in US priorities from war and foreign intervention to funding social needs, particularly schools and youth programming. The powerful event, bringing together educators, youth advocates and peace activists, was covered by two local TV stations and two radio stations. Groups involved hope to continue working together this summer.

Iraq Summer Project Comes to Syracuse
SPC is providing office space and assisting organizers from the Iraq Summer Project in Central New York to pressure Rep. Jim Walsh to support "a timeline to bring a responsible end to the Iraq War." The national effort, organized by the coalition Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is working in 40 congressional districts "to help fracture critical elements of the Republican base of support for the war" by early fall. Contact Franchelle Hart at or 202-491-9366.

Kids and Youth for Peace
Shivhari Chathrattil reads a letter from an Iraqi child at the June 13 Kids and Youth for Peace gathering. Holding a banner is Dora Schloss-Witkowski. Photo: Andy Mager

In May, a group of young people from the Syracuse Community Choir began talking about what they might do to help end the Iraq War. The result was the gathering: Kids and Youth for Peace: Stop the Iraq War on June 13 in front of the MOST.

The young people read excerpts of letters they had received from children in Iraq, acted out a theater piece and sang of their hopes that Iraqi children have the same opportunities, resources and sense of security that they experience.

Education Project
MAEP is reaching out to parents and educators this summer and updating our informational materials. We'll be staffing a table at the Alliance for Quality Education summer picnic on July 17, 5-8 pm at 1638 S. Salina St. and circulating sign-up sheets inviting participants to host a MAEP training - we can speak on opt-out, military recruitment tactics and basic questions about military service and conscientious objection.

We are also interviewing high school students for our fall internship, funded by an AJ Muste Institute grant, to organize a social justice career fair. We are accepting applications from Syracuse high school students who would be available 8-10 hours weekly to work on the fair. Stipend provided. Contact Jessica.

Onondaga Land Rights October 11 Hearing
On June 27, lawyers for the Onondaga Nation and New York State held an "in chambers" meeting with Judge Lawrence E. Kahn to discuss the status of the Onondaga Land Rights Action (for background information, see A public oral hearing has been set for October 11 at 10 am in Albany. This hearing, originally set for March 24, was postponed by the judge due to indications that the federal government might "join" the Onondagas in their suit.

Unfortunately, the primary question of whether the Onondagas' land was taken from them illegally and what should be done about that, will have to wait due to the state's challenge of the Nation's right to argue their case in court. Attorneys for the Onondaga Nation are pleased that Judge Kahn appears fair minded about the case. On May 21, he allowed the Oneida Nation's land claim to proceed when he ruled that the federal courts should provide some remedy to the Haudenosaunee Nations for New York's illegal takings of their land in the 1790s and early 1800s. NOON will be working with the Onondaga Nation Communications Office to organize transportation to Albany on October 11 and other support actions. Stay tuned for details.

Bikes 4 Peace Rolls Along
B4P kicked off its fifth year with two bike clinics at the Northeast Community Center. Seven volunteers worked with 50 youth in June. In addition to helping youth fix their bikes, we gave away three recycled bikes with helmets.

At our first clinic at the Boys and Girls Club on E. Fayette St. we suffered under the 90 degree temperature and most of the neighborhood youth wisely chose the pool instead. Our remaining four summer clinics will be at the Brady Faith Center (404 South Ave., July 24 and Aug. 7) and the Spanish Action League (700 Oswego St., Aug. 21 and Sept. 4). All clinics are 5-7 pm. Bike donations welcomed. Contact Jessica.

Available from SPC with a commitment to wearing them regularly and participating in upcoming actions.

Summertime and the Finances Aren't Easy
Summer is a time of vacations, being outdoors, and relaxing. It can be a time when people forget or put off making financial contributions to SPC. But SPC organizes for peace and social justice year round, and this summer is especially active.

Please respond as generously - and as soon - as you can to our recent fund appeal mailing. If you did not receive the mailing, please consider this an invitation to contribute. As always, tax deductible contributions of $50 or more can be made out to the AJ Muste Memorial Institute; write SPC in the memo line.

Contact Carol if you have questions about SPC's finances.

SPC Garage Sales
One (hopefully more) SPC benefit garage sale will be held Saturday, September 8. Please consider hosting a garage sale that day, especially if you live in a visible location.

Donations sought for "gently used" items such as furniture, games, CDs, appliances (in working order), plants, costumes, housewares, books, tools, etc. No clothes please. Save some of your shopping for that day too! (Wow - shopping for peace and justice with no money going to corporate coffers - sounds great.) Contact Rae at 445-2840 or Nate at 472-5478. -Rae Kramer

SPC Move Coming Soon
The Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice expects to own the building at 2013 E. Genesee St. by the time you read this. The Center will carry out renovation work on the second floor where the Peace Council will share offices with Citizens Awareness Network. The timeline for construction is not yet firm, but SPC expects to move sometime in September. We'll be looking for folks with strong backs to help with the relocation. See for more detail. Contact Andy.

New Membership Structure
SPC has historically been viewed as a participatory, democratic organization whose membership has been loosely defined. Many in the community have identified themselves as "members of the Syracuse Peace Council" while others, although active participants in SPC activities, never saw themselves as "members." To encourage a greater sense of "ownership" of the organization, the Steering Committee has decided to implement a membership system with the following criteria and benefits:
Agreement with the SPC Statement of Purpose.
A sliding scale annual membership fee of $20-50, with youth/low income set at $10-15. Dues may be waived by volunteering at SPC.
Members receive the Peace Newsletter.
Members are eligible to serve on the Steering Committee.
Members are actively encouraged to attend the annual membership meeting and help shape SPC policy.

A membership committee will coordinate the transition to this new structure and help replenish the Steering Committee.

Stay tuned for more information. -Shirley Novak

Activist Appreciation: Karen Kerney
Karen Kerney joins a protest against the Iraq War in 2005.

Few people have brought the creativity and inspiration to the local peace and social justice movement that Karen Kerney has provided over the past 30 years. Her beautiful artwork has adorned dozens of Peace Newsletter covers in addition to peace calendars, posters, banners, t-shirts and more. She has also been a long-standing member of the Plowshares Craftsfair committee. Karen began her work with SPC in the late '70s developing and touring an anti-nuclear puppet show. She was one of the founders of the whole grain women's baking collective On the Rise. Her abundant organic vegetables have sustained many an activist.

"Yes" is almost always the answer when we ask Karen to share one of her many gifts with the Peace Council. Her irrepressible optimism, passion and sense of fun add to the joy of working with her.

Welcome Home Julienne
Julienne Oldfield was released on July 13 from her three month incarceration at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia. She was jailed for her nonviolent entry onto the grounds of Ft. Benning, Georgia as part of an ongoing SOA Watch campaign to defund the infamous WHINSEC/School of the Americas. We thank her for her courage and loving spirit and join her family and friends in welcoming her home. -Rae Kramer